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Harbingers of Spring

March 28, 2012

Forsythia intermedia    Photo credit: Dan Smith, Wikimedia Commons

I turned the page yesterday in my Book of Days where I’ve recorded what is blooming in my garden since 1989, my last year in Massachusetts. I found my list of the harbingers of spring in my zone 5b, Ipswich garden. Here it is for your enjoyment.

  • Crocus shows first shoots under the leaves.
  • Sunshine peaks in east windows in the the morning and west kitchen window late in the day.
  • Forsythia buds swell and we bring branches indoors to force.
  • Asparagus appears at Oh Busters (green grocer in North Beverly).
  • Warm days come but are followed by return of the cold.
  • First robin spotted and the next day we go on a picnic.
  • A lightweight summer jacket is enough when out in the daytime.
  • Apple trees and raspberry bushes need pruning.
  • Daffodils poke through the leaves.
Consider what changes tell you spring is approaching where you live. Is spring coming earlier for you? It may not be your imagination. USDA updated its Plant Hardiness Zone Map recently. Here’s the link to the 1990 map for Massachusetts where Ipswich is zone 5b (-15F to -10F).
The new map places Ipswich in zone 6b (-5F to 0F now, average annual extreme minimum temperature). Hmm…wonder what I could have grown in a zone 6b garden? Find your zone on the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map.
My Point Loma garden, two blocks from the ocean, remains in zone 10b (35F to 40F). No forsythia here but ever the bi-coastal gardener.

Harvest Monday: Spring Dinner and A Lunch

Harvest Monday: Things Bolting and Going to Seed